Students bitter with allowances removal
University of Malawi Students Union (Umsu) president Peter Mvuma has expressed concern over the removal of students’ allowances in public universities, saying government should privatise public universities if it has failed to run them.
He said this on Monday when he was asked to comment on government’s move to scrape off the allowances.
“It is government’s responsibility to support students in public universities. Students do not have to support themselves. The majority of the students are poor and rely on such allowances for their upkeep,” Mvuma said.
He said it is obvious that government has failed to educate its citizens, adding that if government knows that it can no longer run public universities, it should let other people operate them.
Mvuma, however, said the union will soon hold a meeting with the National Council for Higher Education to engage them on the matter so that it can be resolved amicably.
The students’ union leader also disclosed that the union is planning to meet the Parliamentary Committee on Education to present their concerns..
But Minister of Education Science and Technology Emmanuel Fabiano said many students will benefit from grants and loans government has recently introduced.
“It is a revolving fund where students will be required to repay the money after a certain period and there will be a board that will be managing the grant fund unlike the allowances where students could just use the money,” said Fabiano.
He said there is an Act that will be followed on the disbursements of the loans and the repaying process will be done following the law.
Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe on Friday announced the removal of allowances for new students in public universities as one way of cutting expenditures.
He, however, said government has set aside K3 billion to capitalise the higher education students loan and grant fund.
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